The last couple of weeks the storm has been raging. It began with an unresolved hurt. You know the constant dull ache that you learn to ignore until one day it is lanced open unleashing a shearing unavoidable torrent of pain as raw nerves are once again exposed. In the midst of that I’m pelted with another situation, then another. The torrential rainfall becomes all-encompassing, a merciless deluge. This was the kind of storm where you can barely see ten feet in front of you. The kind that just kind of appears out of nowhere on a sunny afternoon during a picnic and sends everyone racing for cover. The intense, sudden storm that rains down fury and ends almost as abruptly as it began.
My first response is often to become paralyzed with fear, anxiety, and grief. I tend to immediately shut down all nonessential activities and function strictly on survival mode as I wallow in self-pity. Today, I want to offer encouragement, throw you a life-preserver if the storm has caused a flood and you are struggling to keep afloat, something to hang on to during times like this. It comes in the form of Psalm 91.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Let’s look at verse 4, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Feathers are waterproof and they have a soft downy layer underneath that insulates. I’d also like to posit that when you are underneath feathers, you are embraced in warmth, cuddled close to the body, and kept from the rain. I love this picture. In fact, I recently bought a pair of earrings that look like wings because they remind me of being held by God, embraced, and protected. What a loving and caring Father we have. Finally, this verse tells us that He is faithful. He is not only going to do this for us when we are on His good side, or He is in a good mood. He is faithful, He will Always protect us, always comfort us. Thank you Lord.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Why does the Lord save us from the storm? “’Because he loves me’, says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.’” (Psalm 91:14-16) God is love. Because we love Him, our loving Father is not going to leave us alone in trouble. Praise God that is grace. We can’t earn his love, we don’t deserve it, and we can never be good enough. All we have to do is to love Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Because of His love for us, he will rescue, protect, answer our calls for help, be with us in times of trouble.
The Bible doesn’t tell us that life is going to be easy. Instead it tells in 2 Corn. 4:8-9 that “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” We have to hold that close to our heart. We might feel the pressure of the raging storm and it might be intense but we won’t be crushed. You know what happens to a piece of coal under intense pressure, it creates a diamond. We might be struck down, but we won’t be destroyed. They say it takes intense heat for the pinecones in the mountains to release their seeds. This kind of intense heat only naturally occurs during a fire. God designed those pinecones to open up during a fire and drop their seeds. After all that burned and charred forest cools, it provides a very fertile layer perfect for those little seedlings to grow in. The forest will grow back, more beautiful than ever. The fire was necessary for the forest to stay healthy and beautiful, to get rid of all the dead wood and make room for new growth.
In Genesis 9, God tells us that the rainbow is the covenant between God and all the life on the earth. That is pretty common knowledge. Stick with me here and you may be surprised at what else is the covenant between God and man. In Ezekiel 1, the Bible says that Ezekiel saw visions of God surrounded by a brilliant light with the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day. In Revelation 4, John tells us that he saw a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it encircled by a rainbow. This is God, he is a rainbow. God’s covenant between Himself and the Earth was Jesus. Further proof is in Matthew 26, during communion, Jesus says “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Jesus, the beautiful covenant that saved us, rescued us from death in sin.
In the midst of life’s storm, we need to focus on God and His promises; His promise that we will not be crushed or destroyed, His promise that we can take refuge under his wings, His promise that he will be with us in times of trouble and protect us, His promise that he is faithful. Finally, in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”, we learn that, like the forest, we need the fire, we won’t be destroyed, and it is for our good. We will see beauty rise from the ashes, we just need to focus on rainbows, focus on Jesus.